My Papa always yelled to us grandkids, “don’t run down the stairs or you’re going to fall and break your neck”.
Most people when they wake up are groggy, especially when it’s in the middle of the night. Throw Post-Concussion Syndrome into the mix and it’s even worse. Someone with this might awaken feeling dizzy, off balance, and sluggish.
This can be a hazard. Since our bedroom is upstairs and our bathroom is on the main floor, it’s an interesting trek down the stairs. Often when I’m feeling off, I’ll wake Michael and he’ll help me. But usually, I’ll put on my glasses, grab my phone, and use the light on it to guide me down the stairs.
Early Tuesday morning, around 2:00 a.m. was no different. I woke needing to use the washroom. I put on my glasses and started down the stairs. As I was descending, I realized I forgot my phone. “Oh well”, I thought. “I can see enough with my glasses”.
It was well … until I rounded the landing and started heading down the next flight. I overstepped and down I went. In instinct, I grabbed the railing with my left arm as my body contorted and kept falling. I managed to fall off three steps while hanging on.
Michael woke up to the loud thud and came running. There I was sitting on the steps, sore and half asleep. Then the shock set in. Thankfully he was there to help me to the bathroom. We sat there as the shock coursed through my body for the next hour or so.
When that unpleasant moment passed, we hobbled into the bedroom downstairs to sleep off the few hours we had left of the night.
I have had many moments where I’ve felt like I could fall down the stairs. Our rule is that if I’m feeling off and/or dizzy, I am to wake Michael and let him help me down the stairs. I thought I was fine but apparently not.
I am SO very grateful that I didn’t hit my head or get whiplash ending up with another concussion. God was watching over me! Other than some tender muscles and a few scrapes, I ended up okay. It could have been much worse, so I am counting my blessings.
Michael is hastily back to renovating the bathroom we’re installing upstairs, so we don’t have this worry again. Bless his heart! I have one selfless and caring husband.
I share this as a word of warning. If you or a family member struggle with Post Concussion Syndrome, please be careful in the night. It is very easy to get disorientated. It is common to feel dizzy and off-balance. You are not in your best state of mind. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help when you get up, especially if you have to go up or down stairs. Ask for help.
If you’re stubborn like me, I think I can do it on my own. I don’t take my time. I want to go to the bathroom and get back to bed as soon as I can. However, it is not worth the rush. That fall could have been way worse. I had two people in one of my therapy groups that got their concussions and brain bleeds from falling down stairs.
Thankfully I didn’t end up with a broken neck, but I think there was some wisdom to my Papa’s advice. Slow down, take your time, and be careful. Turn on a light or use a flashlight. Hang onto the handles and get ask for help if needed.